This year, BONES from Ishikawa in the city of Uruma made
its debut performance as the Okinawa representative at the Tottori Burger Festa,
a festival for local burgers.
Amawari, BONES’s hamburger, shined in second place
from among 20 participating organizations.
“Amawari” was the name of a Ryukyu Kingdom-era aji chieftain
that brought prosperity to the region. The chieftain left behind Katsuren Castle,
a World Heritage Site that was his home as feudal lord.
“We have been in operation for about two years,
” says restaurant manager Shuichiro Yamauchi.
“The cooperation of local people in the area is essential to our continued operation.
Advertising the city of Uruma throughout the country
by participating in competitions is our way of giving back to the community.”
A key point in the recipe is the plentiful burger sauce mixed in with the meat.
Made using sake lees of Danryu, a strong Okinawan rice
or millet liquor produced by the local Kamimura Shuzo brewery,
this sauce gives the smoked pork its mild flavor and can be eaten even in large quantities
without boring the diner.
The burger has also received the “Best Localism Award,”
given to the hamburger that best conveys a bond and connection to the local community.
“Of course we will win First Prize next year,
” says the ambitious Yamauchi. “I aim to get the triple crown of First Prize,
the Best Localism Award again, and the “Best Quality Award,
” which is given to the burger with the highest-rated flavor.
This is a hamburger unique to this place, packed with ingredients only Uruma could provide.
In the future, this deep flavor may indeed become synonymous with “local burger” itself.